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The Georgia Ports Authority (GPA) earlier this week elected James Allgood as chairman, and approved its fiscal-year 2017 budget.Allgood will assume his new responsibilities July 1. He has served as the board's vice chairman for two years."With our harbor deepening under way, the infrastructure investments we're making on terminal, and the improvements to road and rail connections we're building in Georgia, there is a wealth of opportunity ahead of us," said Allgood in a press release.The board approved a FY2017 budget, which includes $116 million for capital infrastructure improvements. The funds will cover 15 projects, including $42.5 million for the purchase of new ship-to-shore and rubber tired gantry cranes.GPA features more ship-to-shore cranes than any other U.S. terminal, officials said. Savannah's Garden City Terminal will add four cranes this year; another set of four will arrive in late spring 2018, bringing the total to 30 cranes for GPA.In addition, the board announced that in consultation with Georgia Gov. Nathan Deal and the Office of Planning and Budget, it has pledged to fully fund the three-year, $7.5 million commitment to the Jasper Ocean Terminal Joint Project Office. The funds will cover Georgia's share of the office's operating costs, as well as the services of a third-party contractor to prepare an environmental impact statement for the Jasper Ocean Terminal.Finally, the board acknowledged that its meeting was Curtis Foltz's last meeting as the GPA's executive director. Griff Lynch will succeed Foltz as executive director on July 1."Under Curtis' leadership, the GPA has reached major milestones, with the start of the Savannah Harbor Expansion Project, important on-terminal infrastructure improvements and a 32 percent expansion in business — moving from 2.8 million TEUs [20-foot equivalent units] in 2010 to more than 3.7 million TEUs last calendar year," Lynch said.
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